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    This might seem like a stupid question, but to my knowledge you can start working at 16 (when you have your NI number), currently I am 15 but I have my NI number (will turn 16 in August) . I want to know whether I can start working or applying for jobs now, realistically I would want to work at a retail store I guess, nothing too complex

    The youngest age a child can work part-time is 13

    Children can only start full-time work once they’ve reached the minimum school leaving age** - they can then work up to a maximum of 40 hours a week.

    School-aged children are not entitled to the National Minimum Wage. Young workers aged 16 to 17 are entitled to at least £3.72 per hour.

    ** In England, your leaving age depends on when you were born. You can leave school on the last Friday in June as long as you’ll be 16 by the end of that year’s summer holidays.

    But you must stay in some form of education or training until:

    27 June 2014 if you were born between 1 September 1996 and 31 August 1997
    your 18th birthday if you were born on or after 1 September 1997

    As long as you have your NI number and the workplace doesnt specify you have to be 16, then you could start straight away. I started at 16 but only because my workplace required it.
    Nonetheless, I'd start applying straight away because by the time you've been through interviews you'll either be 16 or just about to turn 16.

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